Amalia Fowler was anonymously nominated in November 2021.
How long have you been working in PPC?
I’ve been working in PPC for six years now! I feel old answering this question, honestly. It seems like only yesterday we had match types and search query reports.
How did you get started in PPC?
Let me take you on a journey. I was actually a barista at Starbucks (I swear it’s going somewhere) and working as a server at the Fairmont – both incredibly strong brands. I became fascinated about how brands work in the world and build equity, the strategy behind brand building and ended up asking the HR manager of the Fairmont where I should go to school if I wanted to learn more. I had an undergrad in Psychology that I was clearly doing a lot with – but I thought it would be a good complement. She recommended BCIT, which is a super strong institute here in British Columbia, for marketing communications. I went there for two years, and my internship was in PPC at an automotive marketing startup. The first week of my internship my supervisor quit and they asked if I wanted her job — I said yes and the rest is history!
If you went to college, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I went to WLU (shoutout Goldenhawks!) for my undergrad in Global Studies and Psychology and then did a Diploma in Marketing Management with the Communications option at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) here in BC. Now I teach at the same program I graduated from and and I feel so fortunate to be able to pass on all I’ve learned to the next gen of PPCers.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
Junior digital marketing specialist at a startup automotive marketing agency. WILD TIMES let me tell you.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
I wear multiple hats, and do many different things now in my career. I’ve really worked to optimize my career like I’ve optimized many a campaign – following what works. My last role was Director of Marketing, but I abandoned the hustle and have diversified quite a bit.
First and primarily I’m a marketing instructor at BCIT. I teach Essentials of Marketing, Intro to Digital and Paid Media Planning and Buying and I am in love with the process of mentoring new marketers. If they listen to even half of my key lessons I feel like I’m leaving our industry a better place.
Second I’m the Owner over at Good AF Consulting. The main work I do there is as a PPC consultant for an SEO and PPC agency in the US, RicketyRoo, which is full of incredible humans and I feel so lucky to be working on their PPC program and with their clients.
Third, I am the creator of The Wholehearted Manager, a newsletter for managers who are empathetic by nature and believe in leading by the heart and treating their employees as humans first.
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
All of it from top to bottom minus client relationships (as part of my life optimization, I was insistent on moving away from constant client calls). Strategy, planning, executing, optimizing, growth. I mostly work with small businesses that have smaller budgets as I find there are less resources for them and also way more predatory practices in place in the industry that I am deadset on combatting.
I also work almost exclusively in search and with leadgen now, although I have done all of the different pieces in all of the different verticals.
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
Oh my gosh I think my entire career path has been nontraditional. It has been a mix of learning as I go, seeking out incredible mentors and then taking opportunities as they come my way. I ended up in a Director role 3.5 years in because whenever an opportunity came up, I put my hand up to take it. It resulted in learnings across the board, from PPC to SEO, CRO, UX, SMM and digital strategy.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
The incredible people I’ve gotten to work with and the careers I’ve helped to nurture. My favourite thing was hiring new people in the industry and watching them grow and develop. For people I hired, I had a 100% retention rate for a very long time and realized I’m good at building teams. I’ve been proud of the relationships I’ve built and watching my teams grow.
Another highlight was speaking at SMX in New York City and attending the Google Premier Partner Awards on the same day. It was also my first trip anywhere alone, and the entire experience was so empowering and motivating.
Recently cracking the Top 25 PPCer list at #2 has to be a highlight as well.
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
Honestly, nothing. I think there is always the presentation you wish you gave vs. the one you actually gave, and I would tweak some of my decks if I could, but really I’m incredibly happy with where I am now and so hopeful for the future.
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Find the balance between humility and curiosity, and know what you don’t know. Self-awareness is the most underrated trait but such an important one. In the beginning it is really easy to feel like you know everything, and you absolutely do not. Try to find the answers, but don’t be afraid to ask questions.
I like to tell my teams two things. One, marketing is not life or death – nobody is going to die if you make a mistake, this isn’t brain surgery. Two, there are no medium days in marketing. You either feel like you are incredible at what you do or you suck, so on those days you feel like you suck remember that’s just imposter syndrome talking and you’ve got this. Also – reach out if you ever want support, my DMs are always open on Twitter.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
Currently I’m hanging out in the virtual space unless events have a vaccination policy, but talking about PPC for small businesses, how to build incredible marketing teams, ethics in marketing, Google Ads audits or managing in general are all topics I’d love to talk more about.
Podcasts are super fun as well, I’d love to contribute!
Anything else you’d like to share?
I couldn’t have gotten to where I am in the industry without the support of so many other PPCers, both ‘well-known’ and quieter in the space and I just want to say thank you to them all.
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?
Come find me on Twitter @AmaliaEFowler
LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amaliafowler/
Make sure to shoot me a note on LinkedIn as I don’t blindly accept requests. I’m also way more active on Twitter.
If you’re interested in the management side of things I’m on Twitter @WholeHeartMngr and you can sign up for that newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/d99eb94af71c/thewhm. I’ve got some really exciting things planned for that community in 2022 and would love to have you join.